City council to focus on food safety officers in awareness week

Behind the scenes with Norwich food hygiene inspectors Penny Coult and Zoe Noble as they inspect the

Behind the scenes with Norwich food hygiene inspectors Penny Coult and Zoe Noble as they inspect the Waffle House in Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

As part of National Food Safety Week (June 4 to 10), Norwich City Council is partnering with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to shine a light on the people working behind the scenes who help to ensure the food is safe.

To illustrate the good work of these council officers, this year's theme is The People Who Protect Your Plate.

There are a whole host of people who work hard to keep food safe and the city council has a team of dedicated officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch.

The city council launched the first food hygiene rating scheme of its kind in the UK in 2005 which was adopted and adapted by many other local authorities.

By 2010 the model had been endorsed by the FSA and was used to shape the system on a national basis. Befittingly, Norwich became the first to introduce the national standardised Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

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Councillor Kevin Maguire, Norwich City Council's cabinet member with responsibility for food safety, said: 'We have a dedicated team that work hard to ensure that food is safe in Norwich so that residents and visitors can dine out with peace of mind.

'Research shows that, when eating out, food hygiene is the UK's number one food safety concern so we're really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses have a good food hygiene rating.'

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Angela Towers, head of the food hygiene rating team at the FSA said: 'Working in partnership with Norwich City Council and their expert officers we are dedicated to ensuring that people can trust that the food they buy and eat is safe and honest.

'Our food hygiene rating scheme empowers the public to make informed decisions about where to buy and eat food; it's also proved hugely effective in driving up standards in food businesses across the country.'

The city council continues to lead in food safety management and is one of the very few authorities to publish reports online which allows consumers to understand fully how the rating is calculated and what factors influenced the score.

There are currently over 1,500 food establishments in Norwich that the team are responsible for protecting and inspecting.

The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers from restaurants, pubs and takeaways to food vans, market stalls and sweet shops.

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